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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Mr. Graham was on a plane for the first time, so his wife drove him to the airport, the flight attendant told him wear to sit, he’s a little nervous, and a big Texan in a white suit sits down next to him, they exchange pleasantries. They serve the meal and he starts feeling sick, and he wonders if he should go to the bathroom, but he sees that the Texan is asleep and he can’t get to the bathroom. He’s really not feeling good, and he leans over to wake up the Texan and he loses his lunch all over the Texan’s white suit. The Texan just keeps sleeping and Mr. Graham wonders what he’s going to do. The Texan finally wakes up to his vomit covered suit and Mr. Graham says, “So, you’re feeling better now?”

When dealing with another person how honest should we be? Let’s face it, when someone tells you a harsh truth about yourself, you can either be:  A.) Hurt. -Or- B.) Learn from it.

When I was young growing up on a farm southwest of Montour my family showed cattle both in 4-H and around the Midwest, we typically stood toward the top of the class most shows. And for this I got a lot of glowing feedback from many people. People appreciated the work I did preparing for the show ring.  HOORAY FOR THE EGO!!

But sadly with all the positive feedback I learned only one thing: I am awesome – and I nailed it – and did nothing wrong! At least that’s what people said to my face.

Until one day….. one person……his name was Russ Brannen, an old weathered man in a straw cowboy hat. Russ, a consultant for Kent Feeds, had spent over 30 years giving demonstrations to 4-H kids on how to properly feed and fit cattle.

The red faced gruff old man called me over one day and, taking my calf by the halter said, “Walk all the way around and look at this calf and tell me what you see, boy.” I’m sure I said something half-hearted just to give an answer. He said “no that’s not it”, he said that my calf’s hair wasn’t trained. I must have looked very confused – so he went on to explain that I needed to work with my calf’s hair at home every day in order to have it trained – giving it better pop and bloom. Then on show day I wouldn’t have to work so hard getting my calf ready for the ring.

The last thing he said is still with me to this day. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

After everyone telling me I was awesome, this “hair not being trained “problem was news to me. No one else ever took the time to mention this.  Up until that statement I had no idea why I had to work so hard on show day to get my calf ready. But now I could actually change it and make it better for next time.  Thank you Russ Brannen!

People running or starting businesses in Tama County cannot afford to get fooled by people not telling the ABSOLUTE TRUTH. They need advice on what’s working and what is not… even if it’s uncomfortable, messy, and hurts.


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